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Choose a Career

Where to start

Choosing a career is a huge decision that shapes our lives. What do I want to do? Where do I start? What will make me happy? These are all questions we have asked ourselves when faced with this decision whether it be after graduating from high school or trying to decide on a major. Some of us know what we want to do from an early age, and some of us jump from job to job. Through all of this, two factors have always been important: education and experience.

Education

Getting an education after high school includes everything from earning a professional certificate to getting your PhD. All of these options range from a one-week certificate course to several years to earn advanced degrees. Certificates, associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and PhDs or Doctorates are all available to individuals to pursue. Students are able to choose from taking their classes in a traditional on-campus setting to taking them all through online education. Hybrid courses for students are available as well.

Experience and Careers

Some jobs have entry level positions where no experience or university degree is required. These types of jobs allow individuals to quickly enter the work force and start earning money. Other jobs may offer more senior level positions with higher pay, but may require several years of work experience or more advanced degrees. Higher levels of careers may require PhDs, MBAs, or professional certifications and licenses to qualify for them. Even with these credentials, having the experience of working in a profession is valuable to show employers that an individual has industry specific expertise and knows how to apply their classroom knowledge to real-life situations.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook has provided salary and growth outlook for many careers. We have listed several careers below that show the BLS’s data about the 2012 median annual pay and the expected growth rate between 2012 and 2022:

Paralegal – median salary was $46,990 and has an expected 17% growth rate

Registered Nurse – RN – median salary was $65,470 and has an expected 19% growth rate

Kindergarten Teacher – median salary was $53,090 and has an expected 12% growth rate

Higher Education Instructor – median salary was $68,970 and has an expected 19% growth rate

Forensic Scientist – median salary was $52,840 and has an expected 6% growth rate

Psychologist – median salary was $69,280 and has an expected 12% growth rate

Licensed Practical Nurse – LPN – median salary was $41,540 and has an expected 25% growth rate

Social Workers – median salary was $44,200 and has an expected 19% growth rate

Financial Analysts – median salary was $76,950 and has an expected 16% growth rate

Police Officer – median salary was $56,980 and has an expected 5% growth rate

Accountant – median salary was $63,550 and has an expected 13% growth rate

Getting started in any career usually starts with getting some form of education. Individuals now have many options from which to choose to help them start on their career path. To get more information and facts about required education and job descriptions, click on the career in which you have interest, or continue on to one of the career categories to get more information about that field.